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It's nice for your music collection to have the album covers inside each album folder, so when browsing your folders, you can easily see the albums covers as folders icons, etc. (in Windows, this comes as default, but you can do it in Linux too).

Windows and Linux: Using Album Cover Art Downloader

Album Cover Art Downloader

The first option to download Album covers for both Windows and Linux would be Album Cover Art Downloader, an application which can semi-automatically download album cover images for your music collection. Semi-automatic because you have to manually select each album (if you know a better way of doing this in Windows, please let me know - for Linux there is a better way, read on!).

Note that due to the latest changes in Amazon's Product Advertising API, Album Cover Art Downloader is unable to download any images from Amazon for the time being. However, it can still download album covers from Yahoo! Images, Wal-Mart, Buy.com (don't really understand why the author hasn't used last.fm), so make sure you check all of these in it's settings.

Download Album Cover Art Downloader (Windows .exe, Ubuntu/Debian .deb, Red Hat .rpm and source files available).

Before installing it in Ubuntu/Debian, run this command:
sudo apt-get install python-qt3 python-imaging

Once installed, it won't create a menu item in Linux. So run it in a terminal, like so:

and then make sure you change Album Cover Art Downloader settings, under Targets > Mp3 Files, make sure you uncheck "Write images to ID3v2 tags":

uncheck Write images to ID3v2 tags

Linux only

There are two methods of automatically downloading album covers in Linux.

1. If you use Sonata, you can set it to store the cover art it downloads in the album folder instead of ~/.covers. Then, to download the covers you will have to play a song from each album you don't have album art (covers) for.

2. CoverSync - a plugin for Exaile which is needed because Exaile saves the album covers to ~/.exaile/covers/ so basically CoverSync moves the covers from where Exaile saves them, into each album's folder. Unfortunately CoverSync only works with Exaile 0.2x.